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NEPZA Partners World Bank, IFC To Develop Trade Zones

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The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) said it had entered into partnership with the World Bank and the International Financial Corporation (IFC) to develop infrastructure in the Free Trade Zones across the country.
The move, according to NEPZA will help to attract more foreign direct investments  into the Nigerian economy. The NEPZA Acting Managing Director, Mr Bitrus Dawuk disclosed this when the World Bank and the (IFC) delegation visited the authority’s headquarters in Abuja.
Dawuk according to a statement from NEPZA said one of the bottlenecks hindering the optimal performance of Free Trade Zones is NEPZA’s obsolete legislation that is in the process of being amended by the National Assembly. According to him, once the laws were amended, the Authority would be able to generate billions of dollars worth of investments into the country.
He said, “NEPZA is ever ready to work with the World Bank and the IFC in  giving Nigeria a world class free zones as there are already measures in place to review the outdated regulations of NEPZA to make it more favourable for foreign investors to come in and invest in the country.
“I will be on your neck from now on, especially in areas of training of my staff for optimum performance.”
In his remark, the Leader of the delegation, Mr Feyi Boroffice said the visit was aimed at strengthening relationship with NEPZA by providing an enabling environment to attract more foreign investors into the country.
This, he said, would be achieved by building anchor projects that would encourage the establishment of industries such as the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical plant.
He said, “The World Bank group is the multilateral development institution, so, our aim is to go to all the developing countries in the world to see where we can provide funding or advice to help with development.
”So, the typical development is how we can create more jobs, how can we increase women participation in the economic process?  How can we increase money and standard investment? How do we increase exports?
”We are also very interested in the Akwa Ibom Free Trade Zone project which we understand is under your authority’s supervision, as we appeal to you and the authority to give us the opportunity to participate in the project for the total economic benefit of Nigeria.”
The IFC representative, Bambo Kunle-Salami said what the World Bank “does is to provide funding and advice  to the public sector and government while the IFC deals more with the private sector.”

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NTVOA Promotes 24hr-Online Operations On Faulty Vehicles

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The National Towing Vehicles Owners Association (NTVOA) has commenced consultation with security agencies and stakeholders in the transport logistics chain system on the best way to respond promptly  to rescue articulated vehicles parked along major roads and highways nationwide through digitalisation .
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) affiliate association said plans are already afoot to introduce an app designed to respond swiftly to brokendown  vehicles in furtherance to ensure free flow of traffic.
NTVOA said it will test-run the app in  Lagos when completed  due to the predominant and peculiar nature of traffic, noting that the technological device would take the form of “Uber”
In a chat with the National Secretary of NTVOA, Comrade Sylvester Afonughe in Ogun State, he noted that the move would be an all inclusive app through which security agencies will also be alerted  in line with the technological innovation .
He said the operation when completed will encourage faster response to vehicles with technical hitches to be evacuated from the roads.
The scribe sad aggressive campaigns and sensitization mechanism would be put in place to enable stakeholders understand how to use the app upon completion.
Afonughe, an engineer and the Business Relationship Manager, Moniepoint, affirmed that: “It looks tasking, no doubt, but that is what we are looking at as a union because we have already commenced consultation for the website which will operate like Uber or O Pay in nature.
He said the union is also resolved to key into the automation system as part of efforts to address human contact and to promote seamless operations in modern day transport technology.
“We are looking at how we can improve on our operations because it is what I single-handedly initiated under the stable of my organization, then the national can take it up from there.
“So many factors are also considered in this project because we are looking at 24 hours online real time operations because we cannot rule out night activities.

“Security is key here so these are the things we are looking at because we need to carry security agencies along because security must not be compromises when we kick start this project.

By; Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NIWA Provides Waterways Ambulance For Search, Rescue

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has introduced a new ambulance boat to serve the Lagos waters.
Disclosing this in a statement made available to our correspondent in lagos, NIWA said “The decision to introduce the new ambulance was in response to critical empowerment of the search and rescue team in Lagos, and as strategic fulfilment to suggestions made by the cream of maritime media at a recent parley with the Managing Director of NIWA, Dr. George Moghalu .
“Dr. Moghalu noted that the new craft fitted with amber lights and two 175 Horse Power engines by Yamaha, with cream colour leather interior, fitted with medical equipment, first aid boxes, communication system and stretchers, will form the fulcrum rapid response to accidents on Lagos waterways.
“Rugged and built to  ferry accident victims and those who require immediate medical attention to the nearest hospital and Medical Hold Bay, the ambulance watercraft can travel at controlled timing without fear or anxieties of being buffeted by high impact waves”, it stated.

By: Nkemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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CBN Raises Savings Interest To 4.2%

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Bank customers in the country are now to be paid more interest on their savings after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reviewed upward minimum interest payable to 30 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
At its last meeting in July, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the CBN had raised MPR to 14 per cent due to the persistent rise in inflation rate in the country.
The upward review of interest on savings was stated in a circular signed by the CBN Director, Banking Supervision, Haruna Mustafa, and issued to all banks dated August 15, 2022.
With the new circular, banks are expected to increase interest rate on savings from 10 per cent of MPR to 30 per cent of MPR with effect from August 1, 2022.
Consequently, bank customers can now earn up to 4.2 per cent, which is 30 per cent of the 14 per cent MPR as against 1.4 per cent, which was 10 per cent of the MPR.
According to The Tide’s source, the circular states in part:  “It will be recalled that as part of the efforts to ameliorate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the minimum interest rates payable on local currency savings deposits from 30 per cent to 10 per cent of the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR).
“This was aimed at stimulating growth in the larger economy following the economic slowdown occasioned by the pandemic.
“However, following the return to full normalcy and considering the prevailing macroeconomic conditions, it has become necessary to effect an upward adjustment of the interest rate payable on local currency savings deposits.
“Accordingly, effective August 1, 2022, the negotiable minimum interest rate on local currency savings deposits shall be 30 per cent of MPR. This supersedes our letter dated September 1, 2020, referenced BSD/DIR/GEN/LAB/13/052 on the subject.”

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